Gas, diesel prices higher this Christmas
Neil Jerome Morales (The Philippine Star) - December 25, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Higher fuel prices greeted motorists on Christmas Eve yesterday, snapping three consecutive weeks of price drops.

Petron Corp., Chevron Philippines Inc. and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and independent player PTT Philippines Corp. increased prices of premium and regular gasoline by 50 centavos and 55 centavos per liter, respectively.

The prices hikes, organized labor said, would dampen the Christmas celebration of ordinary Filipinos.

The oil firms also jacked up prices of diesel by 45 centavos per liter and kerosene by 60 centavos per liter. There was no official explanation for the latest price hikes, but the oil firms’ usual justification for any adjustments is the need to make local prices consistent with global crude prices.

Last week, oil companies cut pump prices of regular and premium gasoline by 20 centavos per liter, diesel by 80 centavos and kerosene by 55 centavos as benchmark prices dropped due to high inventory in the US.

Since the start of the year, the net increase for gasoline hit 91 centavos per liter while diesel posted a net decrease of P1.53 per liter, Department of Energy (DOE) data showed.

Under Republic Act 8479 or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, oil firms can set the prices of petroleum products based on market forces to encourage competition.

The deregulation law also prohibits the government from intervening or influencing the pricing schemes of the oil companies.

However, the government, through the DOE, has the power to monitor prices.

For monitoring purposes, oil firms are required to report to the department any price adjustments.

The militant Kilusang Mayo (KMU), meanwhile, said the latest price hikes brought additional burden to poor workers.

“By increasing prices one day before Christmas, the Big 3 oil companies are showing, yet again, just how greedy they are. They are taking advantage of Filipinos’ wish to be with their families and friends this Christmas and New Year,” KMU chair Elmer Labog said.

The group also accused the government of ignoring the plight of workers by allowing the oil firms to raise pump prices at will despite the softening of crude prices across the globe.

“This time around, oil prices in the world market are not on the side of the Big 3. Price movements in the international oil market dictate that oil companies reduce, not increase, prices,” Labog said.

KMU said the price hike highlights the need for the government to junk the Oil Deregulation Law and enforce price controls.

“This ill-timed increase shows us, once again, that oil companies cannot be allowed to increase prices at will. The government cannot simply take the oil companies’ excuses at face value,” Labog said.

“The government’s refusal to do so has always meant a greater burden for the Filipino workers and people,” he pointed out.

Militant public transport group Pinagisang Samahan ng Mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston) also lambasted the oil firms for the latest price hikes. With Mayen Jaymalin, Rainier Allan Ronda

 

 

CENTAVOS CHEVRON PHILIPPINES INC CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR CHRISTMAS EVE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DOWNSTREAM OIL INDUSTRY DEREGULATION ACT ELMER LABOG KILUSANG MAYO OIL PRICE PRICES
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with